More than two dozen developmentally disabled adults who could have benefitted from therapeutic services instead were shuttled into a nursing home-style facility, where they spend their days doing little more than watch television, according to disability rights activists in Washington state. Now the state Department of Social and Health Services is being fined up to $16 million by federal authorities for its treatment of the 27 residents.
According to the Seattle Times, the 27 are living with developmental disabilities like Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism. Until about October 2010, they were living in an “intermediate facility” operated by Lakeland Village in Spokane County. That facility provided therapy services meant to help the residents reintegrate into society, such as personal-care training and physical therapy.